A closer look at UNESCO WHS: Historic Centre (Old Town) of Tallinn

17 06 2009

Name: Historic Centre (Old Town) of Tallinn
Country: Estonia
Type: Cultural
Year of inscription: 1997, extended in 2008
The site in Google Maps

Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, is named after taani linnus, which means Danish castle. The Castle in question was built by King Waldemar of Denmark in the 13th century. The settlement quickly developed itself into a busy port. In 1248 Tallinn became a member of the Hanseatic League, a chain of European trading cities.

Tallinn was one of the best fortified cities in Europe, with 66 towers adorning the city wall. Only about 20 of them remain today. Nowadays some are used as restaurants and museums.

Here are the postcards of Tallinn I have received. First an aerial overview, the towers and parts of the city wall can be seen in the front:

The second card is a multieview, this card brings you into Tallinn’s Old Town:

And this is the third card, I’ve recently received. It shows Midsummer nights in Tallinn, including the time.
Estonians celebrate ‘Jaaniõhtu’ (‘John’s Night’ in English) on the eve of the Summer Solstice (June 23) with bonfires.  On Jaaniõhtu, Estonians all around the country will gather with their families, or at larger events to celebrate this important day with singing and dancing, as Estonians have done for centuries. The celebrations that accompany Jaaniõhtu are the largest and most important of the year, and the traditions are similar those of Finland and the southern neighbour Latvia.